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South East England

Exterior front view of Saxon Cottage, Steyning, Sussex © Mike Henton

Exterior front view of Saxon Cottage, Steyning, Sussex © Mike Henton

The South Downs rolling down to the cliffs at Beachy Head, the sparsely wooded heathland of the Ashdown Forest and the intricate landscapes of the Weald – the south east has some beautiful countryside and also many fine houses and outstanding gardens.

The dense population of the south-east of England may not make it the obvious choice for a holiday cottage destination, but that's to under-estimate or overlook many of its hidden charms. The Isle of Wight may well be the most obvious holiday destination in the area and the short ferry crossing really does take you to a unique holiday destination.

Further east, the scenery is varied yet distinctive with the South Downs rolling down to the cliffs at Beachy Head, the sparsely wooded heathland of the Ashdown Forest and the intricate landscapes of the Weald. Closer to London are some gems which equally deserve a weekend away or longer holiday, including the majestic Thames Valley with its magnificent historic houses and beautiful varied countryside, offering some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern England.

Kent, meanwhile, deserves its title of the Garden of England and the National Trust protects some of the best stretches of countryside and many fine houses and outstanding gardens. Apart from houses such as Bateman's, much-loved family home of Rudyard Kipling, the enchanting Bodiam Castle, Petworth House and Park with its sumptuous interiors and rolling parkland, Polesden Lacey on the North Downs and Chartwell, family home of Sir Winston Churchill, the Trust also owns several glorious gardens including Nymans Garden, Sheffield Park Garden and Sissinghurst Castle Garden.

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